Intimate Irritation

Wednesday, 9 January 2013  |  Sarah

We often hear about intimate irritation. This is a sensitivity to synthetic materials resulting in discomfort that is often attributed to Thrush. Alarmingly it is actually a form of dermatitis and in some cases women can develop allergic reactions.

Research has shown that 75% of UK gynaecologists believe that conventional sanitary protection may be the cause of intimate irritation. In a study conducted by a New York Medical School it was indicated that women could reduce their risk of developing Toxic Shock Syndrome by using 100% cotton tampons instead of those using rayon and rayon/cotton blends. It is a distressing fact that conventional sanitary pads are made up of mostly 90% petroleum derived plastic materials such as polyethylene (the same material used in plastic bags), polypropylene, a synthetic cloth like material and dyes.

They often use absorbent gels to encourage women to use a single pad for hours longer than they should. Natural sanitary pads function in exactly the same way as conventional pads, but instead of using synthetic, man-made materials, they are made with totally chlorine-free natural and certified organic plant derived materials that are chemical and additive free and bio-degradable.

Conventional tampons are usually made from chlorine bleached, aggressively absorbent rayon, perhaps blended with a small amount of conventionally grown cotton. They are loosely packed in polypropylene to try to stop the rayon fibres shedding during use. There is also the possibility that they could contain dyes, lubricants and synthetic fragrances. Organic 100% cotton tampons are just as absorbent as conventional ones but the synthetics and chemicals are absent. Women therefore benefit from excellent performance but the delicate membranes of the vagina are not exposed to any chemical by-products, synthetics or residual fibres.

Chlorine bleaching creates a byproduct called dioxin which has extremely harmful effects on the environment and has been linked to ill health. Dioxin is a known carcinogen and will leave detectable residuals in any product that has been bleached with any type of chlorine bleach. Tampons with coloured string and blue areas on pads may have been dyed with azo dyes which contain heavy metals that can cause reactions, especially since they contain nickel and aluminium.

Choosing organic, natural sanitary products ensures that women are reducing their exposure to synthetic materials and chemicals as well as benefiting from a more comfortable and breathable alternative that is much friendlier to our planet.

SAP’s or Super Absorbent Polymers

Fact: Cotton can absorb over 11 times its own weight in liquid, it is the most efficient of natural fibres.

Super absorbent Polymers may absorb over 50 times their own weight in liquid. They really are Super and are used in many applications – potting soil, bandages, water beds, surgical pads, nappies, incontinence products and Feminine hygiene products. They are NOT allowed in tampons because of the possibility of toxic shock syndrome and irritation to the vagina. This little piece of information should trigger ‘concern’. If SAP’s are forbidden in tampons why are they permitted in other sanitary products?

What is a Super Absorbent Polymer? – the following explanation is abbreviated from Wikipedia. Superabsorbent polymers are commonly made from the polymerization of acrylic acid blended with sodium hydroxide in the presence of an initiator to form a poly-acrylic acid sodium salt (sometimes referred to as sodium polyacrylate). This polymer is the most common type of SAP made. Today super absorbent polymers for the disposable hygienic articles industry are usually made by Gel polymerization.

This is a mixture of frozen acrylic acid, water, cross-linking agents and UV initiator chemicals. The liquid mixture then goes into a “reactor” which is a long chamber with a series of strong UV lights. The UV radiation drives the polymerization and crosslinking reactions.
The resulting “logs” are sticky gels containing 60-70% water, the logs are then shredded or ground and placed in various sorts of driers. The dried polymer particles are then screened for proper particle size distribution and packaging. 

Graeme Hume from Pravera (one of the leading organic & natural distributors) comments;

1) Toxic shock syndrome is a potentially fatal illness caused by a bacterial toxin (which usually remains in the vagina after the tampon has been removed). Therefore the sanitary pad that is worn against the vagina and may easily seep and ‘contaminate’ that sensitive area and thus bacterial toxins may still remain.

2) SAP’s have, in some respects, replaced cotton and cellulose fibres instead of supplementing their natural absorbency, thus the vaginal area is exposed to viscose and other man made fibres that can cause vaginal irritation and sweating.

Even the cotton used in some so called natural pads and tampons have been chlorine bleached. Chlorine bleaching leaves a by-product: dioxin, Exposing women to small but detectable levels of this known toxin whenever they use pads and tampons that are chlorine beached.

Innovative Alternatives

Due to the negative impacts to the environment and to women’s health caused by the manufacture, use and disposal of feminine hygiene products companies such as Organyc have responded by developing safer and more responsible alternatives. Why Organic cotton? Well for environmental reasons if nothing else! Organic Farmers preserve Biodiversity, they work in harmony with natures, they are your guarantee of transparency and they help the local economy.
Corman SpA of Italy who market under the Organyc brand launched in 2008, offer a full line of feminine pads and tampons made from 100% certified organic cotton. The products are hypoallergenic and naturally biodegradable, with outer wraps made from biodegradable and compostable bi-polymer. The company admits that when it comes to feminine hygiene women need more education about healthier alternatives. “ We committed ourselves to explain the advantages of 100% certified organic cotton products,” they explain.

Source: Pravera News

Lucy Rose Comment:
We totally agree, there is no need to use cheap feminine hygiene products which can cause these various reactions, when there are reasonably priced natural alternatives. The Organyc range has proved to be immensely popular with our customers and just as effective as any of the high street brands.

 Organyc Feminine Hygiene Products